March is National Women’s History Month and of course the inventive minds at Brackitz began to wonder about women inventors. A quick search reveals hundreds of incredible stories to inspire your inner inventor, like this piece on modern female inventors from our friends at SaveTheInventor.com. We’ve culled a few of our favorites below for a quick taste of the incredible inventions female scientists, engineers, cooks, and coders have contributed throughout history.
We Spy Through Our Little Eyes… Katharin Blodgett!
Odds are you’re using one of Katharine Blodgett’s inventions every single day! The first woman to be awarded a Ph.D in physics from Cambridge, Katharine’s study of chemistry eventually resulted in the first non-reflective, or “invisible” glass. The glass had wide-reaching effects, both in military and civilian life, from the periscopes on submarines to movie projectors, but, perhaps most importantly, the glass is still used today to give us a crystal-clear view through our car windshields, eye glasses, and computer screens.
We Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Nancy Johnson!
Whether you prefer pralines n cream or mint n chip, you’ve got Nancy Johnson to thank for bringing ice cream into the modern age. Prior to Nancy’s invention of the hand cranking ice cream maker, if you wanted ice cream, you’d better have been ready for a brutal workout with iffy results! Ice cream old school involved balancing a bowl full of the ice cream mixture (salt, cream, and sugar) in a bucket of ice and stirring with a spoon as fast and furiously as possible until the mixture got cold enough to set (or your hand cramped up – whichever came first). With Nancy’s invention, ingredients were simply poured into an inner chamber which was surrounded by ice in an outer chamber, and cranked, using a simple geared hand crank on the side of the bucket. The result was smoother, more consistent ice cream, and a whole lot less work for the maker!
We’re Still Going Buggy for… Grace Hopper!
You’re probably reading this article on a distant relative of Grace Hopper’s invention – the computer! Yep, a woman is responsible for programming the very first computer. Called Mark I, Grace Hopper’s computer took up an entire room that occasionally became infested with moths (hence, debugging). Grace also invented a machine that turned written words into code, called a compiler. As if that weren’t enough, go-getter Grace was an active military member, retiring from the Navy Reserves as a Rear Admiral in 1985.
Let’s Not Forget Tinsel Town Tinkerer… Hedy Lamarr!
Hollywood starlet Hedy Lamarr gave a whole new meaning to multi-tasking! In addition to appearing in more than ten blockbuster MGM films, this glamorous American immigrant is also credited with an invention that eventually led to the wireless technology we use to connect our cell phones and surf the web. During WWII, Lamarr partnered with musical composer George Antheil to create and patent a frequent-hopping system that prevented the enemy from jamming radio-controlled torpedoes. Their invention is considered the predecessor to technologies including GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. As if that weren’t enough, the Austrian-native also helped one-time-boyfriend Howard Hughes improve the aerodynamics of his planes. Learn more about Lamarr in the 2017 movie Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story from Zeitgeistfilms.
Women have a unique perspective and approach to problem solving that often results in inventions and solutions that would otherwise not have arisen. To learn more about changing the culture of women in science and promoting girls in STEM-based careers, visit our blog post: Changing the Culture: Girls in STEM. And to encourage your darling daughter to think creatively, order STEM-based engineering toys like Brackitz today!